On a Friday afternoon, Amanda Puerto deliberately hands a preschooler a power drill. Learning how to use a power drill is not in any preschool curriculum, but the Mini Makers program is not your typical after-school class for 4 and 5-year-olds.
Mini Makers is a 3-week program for young innovators that runs Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30. Kids in the class make creations based on a different theme each session. Past themes include electricity, storytelling, building, and safari. Amanda, who teaches Mini Makers, designed a program where preschoolers can do more than decorate and make simple crafts. “I try to introduce them to things that usually get done for them that I think they should try to do themselves,” she said.
Although the class has structured activities, she doesn’t mind when kids use their creativity. In a session with a water theme, one girl in her class did not want to make a suncatcher shaped like a cloud. Using string, clear contact paper, and a hole punch, she made a cloud and raindrop necklace instead. In Mini Makers, that kind of innovation is encouraged.
“I feel like that’s what we’re going for here at KID Museum,” she said. “We present kids with skills, materials, and tools that they don’t necessarily get anywhere else and let them figure out what to do.”
Mini Makers will resume programming in the fall.